Tuesday, 13 March 2018

TEASER TUESDAY: Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers this month:
“An army post in peacetime is a dull place. Things happen, but then they happen over and over again.

There is a fort in the South where a few years ago a murder was committed. The participants of this tragedy were: two officers, a soldier, two women, a Filipino, and a horse.”
Reflections in a Golden Eye Carson McCullers
Genre: Novella, Literary Fiction
Published by Penguin Modern Classics
Pages: 128
'A masterpiece . . . as mature and finished as Henry James's The Turn of the Screw'.

Time Set on a Southern army base in the 1930s, Reflections in a Golden Eye tells the story of Captain Penderton, a bisexual whose life is upset by the arrival of Major Langdon, a charming womanizer who has an affair with Penderton's tempestuous and flirtatious wife, Leonora.

Upon the novel's publication in 1941, reviewers were unsure of what to make of its relatively scandalous subject matter. But a critic for Time magazine wrote, "In almost any hands, such material would yield a rank fruitcake of mere arty melodrama. But Carson McCullers tells her tale with simplicity, insight, and a rare gift of phrase."
Written during a time when McCullers's own marriage to Reeves was on the brink of collapse

My Thoughts:
After hearing McCullers novella being discussed amongst the guest writers Nina Stibbe (Love, Nina; Paradise Lodge) and Kit de Waal (My Name is Leon; The Trick to Time) on this afternoon’s BBC Radio 4 program, (‘A Good Read’), I had an overwhelming urge to hunt amongst my hoard of books to find it, and having just started reading, I’m rather eager to get on with it.

So that’s it for this week. Will say more about soon.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

TEASER TUESDAY: The Lost Flower's of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers this month:
“Some days Alice’s mother disappeared from her body altogether. There were no stories or walks to the sea. There was no talking with flowers. Her mother would stay in bed with the curtains drawn against the blanching light, vanished, as if her soul had gone somewhere else entirely.”

The Lost Flower's of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland
Published by Pan Macmillan (28th June 2018)
Pages: 400
Flowers, fire and fairy tales are the elements that will forever shape nine-year-old Alice Hart's life, in The Lost Flower's of Alice Hart, the remarkable debut by Holly Ringland.
Alice Hart lives in isolation by the sea, where her mother’s enchanting flowers and their hidden messages shelter her from the dark moods of her father. When tragedy changes her life irrevocably, nine-year-old Alice goes to live with the grandmother she never knew existed, on a native flower farm that gives refuge to women who, like Alice, are lost or broken. In the Victorian tradition, every flower has a meaning and, as she settles into her new life, Alice uses this language of flowers to say the things that are too hard to speak.
As she grows older, though, family secrecy, a devastating betrayal and a man who’s not all he seems, combine to make Alice realise there are some stories that flowers alone cannot tell. If she is to have the freedom she craves, she must find the courage to possess the most powerful story she knows: her own.

My Thoughts at 30%
Enchanting, dreamy, mesmerising…I love this book. ‘The Lost Flower's of Alice Hart’ has introduced me to the magical language of flowers and is an absorbing heartfelt tale about grief, abandonment, loss and betrayal and about how with the love and nurturing of others any hurt can be healed, and that with time anything can be overcome.

For me this book does for flowers what Elizabeth J Church’s ‘The Atomic Weight of Love’ did for crows. Deep sigh !

Review to follow on completion.

Monday, 5 March 2018

TLC BOOK TOURS: The RainBirds by Clarissa Goenawan

The RainBirds by Clarissa Goenawan
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Soho Press (March 6, 2018)
Set in an imagined town outside Tokyo, Clarissa Goenawan’s dark, spellbinding literary debut follows a young man’s path to self-discovery in the wake of his sister’s murder. 
Ren Ishida has nearly completed his graduate degree at Keio University when he receives news of his sister’s violent death. Keiko was stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, failing to understand why she chose to abandon the family and Tokyo for this desolate place years ago.
But then Ren is offered Keiko’s newly vacant teaching position at a prestigious local cram school and her bizarre former arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s ailing wife. He accepts both, abandoning Tokyo and his crumbling relationship there in order to better understand his sister’s life and what took place the night of her death.
As Ren comes to know the eccentric local figures, from the enigmatic politician who’s boarding him to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, captivating young female student, he delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren realizes that Keiko Ishida kept many secrets, even from him.

My Thoughts:
The cover of The RainBirds is enchanting and eye-catching, and from the description appealed to me immensely. The dream sequences are hauntingly beautiful with just a touch of magical surreal creepiness and foreboding. Think of the Japanese horror films such as The Ring’ and you’ll get a sense of the mood. However outside of these genuinely atmospheric, slightly unnerving moments the book didn’t have much hold on me and at 19% I didn’t feel invested or compelled to read any further at this time.

These are only my thoughts and so please read what others have to say from the TLC Blog Tour below.
A Bustle Most Anticipated Book of 2018
“Luminous, sinister, and page-turning all at once. I loved it.”
—Kate Hamer, internationally bestselling author of The Girl in the Red Coat and The Doll Funeral
“A beautiful mystery setup with a complex, magical love story.”
—Eka Kurniawan, award-winning author of Beauty Is a Wound and Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash
“A beautiful, well-crafted story, Rainbirds is an exploration of grief, love and loss. Clarissa Goenawan has written a powerful debut novel that will leave readers craving more.”—Hollie Overton, internationally bestselling author of Baby Doll and The Walls
“Like the imaginary town in Japan in which it takes place, Rainbirds possesses a charm that is at once cloistered, quiet, and mysterious. Carefully crafted and paced, the novel captivates with its reflective, dreamlike tone. A promising debut from Clarissa Goenawan.”—Dee Lestari, award-winning singer-songwriter and author of the Supernova series
“Rainbirds is that rarest of debut novels—confident, transportive, and utterly enthralling. Clarissa Goenawan explores the mysteries of small-town Japan, drawing readers in with understated prose, then ensnaring with a subtle spell, exposing, grain by grain, the secrets behind a young woman’s death.”
—Barry Lancet, award-winning author of The Spy Across the Table and Japantown
“A hauntingly moving story of loss and alienation.”—Jake Arnott, internationally bestselling author of The Long Firm and The House of Rumour 

About Clarissa Goenawan

Clarissa Goenawan is an Indonesian-born Singaporean writer. Her award-winning short fiction has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies in Singapore, Australia, the UK, and the US. Rainbirds is her first novel.

Connect with Clarissa

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Clarissa Goenawan’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, March 5th: SJ2B House of Books
Tuesday, March 6th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, March 7th: @readingbringsjoy
Thursday, March 8th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, March 9th: @bookishconnoisseur
Monday, March 12th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, March 13th: Books a la Mode
Wednesday, March 14th: Spin a Tale Reviews and @spinatale
Thursday, March 15th: Book Chatter
Monday, March 19th: The Literary Llama and @theliteraryllama
Tuesday, March 20th: @athousandbookstoread
Wednesday, March 21st: @ladyofthelibrary
Thursday, March 22nd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, March 26th: Write Read Life